10 things to know about new 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon


Getting to know Jerick McKinnon, who has agreed in principle to a four-year, $30 million deal with the 49ers:

1. His nickname is “Jet,” a moniker he uses in his Twitter handle: @JetMckinnon1. The 49ers long ago enjoyed an aerodynamically named running back, Joe “The Jet” Perry, who led the league in rushing four times on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2. Delivered 125 rushing yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run in the final minutes, when Georgia Southern shocked Florida 26-20 on Nov. 23, 2013. It marked the first time a lower-division team had defeated the Gators, who had blasted previous FCS teams by an average of 45 points. 49ers running back Matt Breida pitched in for Georgia Southern with two kick returns for 34 yards that day.

3. Showed incredible versatility in college by starting games at quarterback, wide receiver, running back and cornerback. McKinnon’s stats at Georgia Southern include 17 100-yard rushing games, 12 passing touchdowns, one touchdown catch and two interceptions as a cornerback.

4. McKinnon wore No. 21 with the Minnesota Vikings, but no 49ers player has worn that hallowed jersey since the great Frank Gore banged out his last yard for San Francisco in 2014. McKinnon entered the NFL wearing No. 31 but switched to honor his mother, Frances McKinnon, who wore No. 21 as a point guard for Pelham City (Georgia) High School. Jerick also wears it because his brother (and idol), Lester Norwood, had it as a safety for the University of Florida from 1998-2002.

5. Boosted his draft stock dramatically at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, where McKinnon clocked unofficial times of 4.38 and 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. He also led all running backs with 32 bench press reps, while his 40.5-inch vertical jump finished fifth among all players. Originally projected as seventh-round fodder, McKinnon went in the third round (96th overall).

6. Started his first career NFL game alongside Teddy Bridgewater, on Oct. 12, 2014, to give the Vikings their first QB/RB rookie starting tandem since Fran Tarkenton and Tommy Mason in 1961.

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